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Festival Daily
  • An Interview with Two New Talents of Chinese Cinema

  • Interview: Director Mani Haghighi on the Film Pig, Culture and Social Media

  • Sean Baker: Quirky Postcards from America

  • Tsai Ming-Liang Master Class

  • HKIFF42 Honors Filmmakers with Awards of Four Competition Sections and the Audience Choice Award

  • Face to Face with Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia

  • Die Tomorrow: Death Always Slips in Unannounced

  • Hara Kazuo Master Class: Eternal Flame of Rage

An Interview with Two New Talents of Chinese Cinema

Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) has in recent years engaged in film projects championing young and promising talents, on top of its missions of introducing world cinema, promoting Hong Kong cinema and film culture. One of these initiatives is Early Bird New Directors Film Fund, organized by HKIFF and Heyi Pictures to offer various supports including finance, networking and distribution to new filmmakers. The two winners of the inaugural film fund, Wang Qiang’s Sunshine That Can Move Mountains 
and Jiang Jiachen’s Looking for Lucky, were presented in the 42nd HKIFF. The two young directors came to Hong Kong and met the audiences in the post-screening talks during the festival, and also talked to us about their filming experience in an exclusive interview.

Films about Tibetan people begin to emerge in recent years. Veteran Tibetan director Pema Tseden has become a well-known name among cinephiles; other filmmakers such as Zhang Yang has also unfolded a journey taken by Tibetan villagers on a pilgrimage to Lhasa. Tibetan director Wang Qiang, in his feature debut Sunshine that Can Move Mountains, tells a story about his hometown through Tenzin Banjue, a young Tibetan monk who takes a long journey home to visit his brother in a vegetative state, but finds himself entangled between faith and love. 

Talking about his creative inspiration, Wang said he has developed a strong interest in Tibetan culture and Buddhism during childhood. Before filming his debut feature, he has already made a few documentaries about Tibetan culture. “A seed might have been sown in my subconscious for long,” Wang said. “I want to present the kind of Tibetan culture from my own perspective.” The poetic sceneries in the film reflect the mind landscape of the protagonist. “The film represents a certain state of mind,” the director said. “I think people in different cultures face the same questions – about spiritual urge and self-awareness; about dilemma and transcendence; about love and faith. This film centers around Tibetan people, but city people will also find resonance in it.” Awarded Asian New Talent Award for Best Script Writer in the 2017 Shanghai International Film Festival, the film undoubtedly appeals to more than Tibetan audiences.  


Ricky Lee Interview (Chinese Version Only)

Please refer to the Chinese Version.


Interview: Director Mani Haghighi on the Film Pig, Culture and Social Media

Iranian filmmaker Mani Haghighi presented his film Pig at the 42nd HKIFF, appearing at screenings on 31 March and 2 April to answer questions from the audiences. The dark comedy follows a blacklisted Iranian film director whose peers are being brutally murdered by a serial killer. The fictional director, Hassan, is terrified of becoming the next victim -- even as Haghighi inserts himself into the film as a victim -- but then Hassan becomes distraught when the killer appears to overlook him, wondering and worrying whether he is not worthy of being a target.

Haghighi later shared his thoughts on Pig and filmmaking with the HKIFF. Here are edited excerpts:


Inland Sea: A Japanese Fishing Village Lost in Time

Before the screening of his documentary Inland Sea at the sky on 2 April, New York-based Japanese filmmaker Soda Kazuhiro recited his 10 Commandments for making films (see below), setting the tone for the next two hours. Soda returned after the film to answer questions.

Inland Sea was filmed in the same fishing village, Ushimado, that Soda shot Oyster Factory (2015). Soda explained that his wife’s mother is from the village, and that they often visit. After shooting Oyster Factory, Soda and his wife Kashiwagi Kiyoko met an 86-year-old fisherman, which led to filming more residents in the village. Soda originally intended the additional footage to be part of Oyster Factory. “When I started editing, I realized it has to be two films because they are very different. Oyster Factory is about modern society.” Inland Sea, he added, is about a pre-modern society that is vanishing.


The Taste of Rice Flower: Rethinking the Chinese Modernization

Set in a Yunnan village at the Sino-Burmese border, The Taste of Rice Flower, the second feature of the young director Pengfei, depicts the estranged relationship between a city woman who returns to her Dai roots and her left-behind daughter. As the villagers become excited about the newly built airport and the future development, the film touches on the issues of modernization in contemporary China. Pengfei attended the post-screening Q&A session on April 1 at Festival Grand Cinema.


Miracle: Post-screening Talk (Chinese Version Only)

Please refer to the Chinese Version.


Struggling: Post-screening Talk (Chinese Version Only)

Please refer to the Chinese Version.


Sean Baker: Quirky Postcards from America

You won’t find Sean Baker’s America on a postcard. Consciously avoiding clichéd settings and characters, the writer-director has ventured into some of the country’s least-explored byways and communities. Rather than simplifying the American Dream, his quirky characters—often embodied by non-professional actors—reveal a national tapestry much stranger and far more complex than most would ever envision.

Baker, whose last appeared at the HKIFF in 2013 with his film Starlet, returned with The Florida Project, depicting children living in poverty in motels outside idyllic Walt Disney World. The following interview is edited from Baker’s Face to Face seminar with HKIFF Programmer Kiki Fung following a screening on 4 April at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.



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